Last rated: 30/08/2011
The restaurant is housed in a Grade II listed Georgian house designed by celebrated Newcastle architect John Dobson. It was bought in 1871 by shipbuilding and armaments magnate Captain - later Sir - Andrew Noble. He converted and upgraded the building adding a new wing, billiard room and Gothic porch and many more bedrooms befitting his status. From the 1930s it became variously, a college, civil defence establishment, seminary and residential school. After a period of neglect it was rescued by local entrepreneurs who transformed it into a 40-bedroom luxury country house hotel among woodlands in the upmarket suburb of Jesmond.
Head Chef Michael Penaluna presides over a contemporary Modern British restaurant with two stylish eating areas: the former music room with original plasterwork ceiling, and Garden Room with its summer terrace. There is a great value lunch menu (£16.50 inc coffee), a house supper menu (£27 for 3 courses) and a dinner menu.
A refreshing but judicious use of unusual herbs and ingredients lifts the menu out of the conventional: kohlrabi soup with golden raisins and curried apple, for example, or apple and lemon verbena espuma with mint sorbet. Suppliers are also properly credited: Tim Oliver’s Galloway beef fillet is served with north country mixed beetroots, Swiss chard and bone marrow crust; Robert Latimer’s day boat monkfish with saffron linguine, razor clam and girolle mushrooms; Ken Holland’s North Country organic vegetables salad, fresh herbs, flowers and sorrel emulsion. Lindisfarne oysters, North Sea halibut and Northumberland venison also add a strong regional accent.